After a week-long trial, a federal jury in Georgia is deliberating the strange case of birther OathKeeper Darren Huff, who allegedly attempted to take over a Tennessee courthouse and conduct citizens arrests on local judges and officers.
“My government has called me a potential domestic terrorist,” Huff said on the stand on Friday as he fought back tears.“This is the most humiliating thing I have ever been through,” Huff said when he took the stand.
“I have never made a statement about taking over the courthouse, the city, the state, nothing,” he said, the AP reports. “I never said anything about taking anything over.”
“It’s hard to get employment when you’re under federal indictment,” Huff also said. “I refuse to be intimidated. All I can do is still have a voice.”
The case dates back to April 2010 when Huff, carrying a Colt .45 and an AK-47, made his way to a Tennessee courthouse to conduct citizens’ arrests on officials. Huff was responding to a call for help from supporters of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, a leader of the birther and Patriot group American Grand Jury, who was arrested for trying to perform a citizen’s arrest on a Grand Jury foreman. Fitzpatrick was angry that court officials didn’t let him pursue a Grand Jury trial against “illegal alien, infiltrator and impostor” President Obama, and other “domestic enemies.”
Huff was stopped by State Troopers on his way to the courthouse, and said he would not resort to violence unless provoked, but he was ready to die for his rights and what he believed in. The State Troopers let him through, but he was arrested soon after.
Huff was charged with knowingly carrying a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to use it in a civil disorder and using a firearm in relation to another felony.
Scott Green, Huff’s attorney, argued that Huff was under surveillance and was stopped by the Troopers, so if he intended to commit a crime, “Why in the world did they let him drive to Madisonville fully armed?”
“Sure, he’s a loudmouth. Actions speak louder than words, though, and these actions are not consistent with someone hellbent on getting to Madisonville to take it over,” Green said, according to the <em>Knoxville News Sentinel. “We’re not here today if he doesn’t run his mouth. Just because he’s a loudmouth and his views are different than yours does not mean you convict him.”
In court prosecutors showed a video of Huff getting pulled over on April 20, while driving his truck with an Oath Keepers decal. From the AP:
“We fully intend to proceed forward with the citizens’ arrests,” Huff says in the video. The roadside stop included bomb-sniffing dogs checking out his truck and Huff chatting with the officers about religion and guns
“I’ve got my .45 because ain’t no government official gonna go peacefully,” Huff tells them in the video.
The video shows Huff placing his Colt .45 in a tool box where the assault rifle was being kept. Huff said he never removed the weapons from the truck toolbox in Madisonville after he arrived to dozens of law officers waiting around the courthouse.
If convicted of the first charge, he faces up to five years in prison. The second charge carries a two-year minimum sentence.